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La Crosse to participate in statewide Drive Thru Job Fair

Kaitlyn Riley

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To help battle record-high unemployment levels, the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board and Wisconsin Workforce Development Association teamed up to form a statewide Drive Thru Job Fair.

Inspired by a similar event in Lincoln, Neb., the job fair will have locations stretched across the state including at Logan High School in La Crosse Wednesday, July 15 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Kevin Ruetten works as the business services coordinator at Western Technical College and serves on the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board.

“We need to communicate that there are jobs available,” Ruetten said. “We have great employers in the area that are essential and businesses that are re-opening. People might be a little lost right now with the job center locally closed. They are still answering the phone and answering questions, but the building is closed.”

To help prepare for the event in La Crosse, he and other organizers contacted employers throughout the region who provided fliers of what jobs are available now. Ruetten said they have more than 35 local employers participating and 550 statewide. Positions include everything from manufacturing to health care, IT, service industry, and more.

“With COVID-19, we are not able to do our traditional job fairs,” Ruetten said. “We lead a business services team in the area, and we try to help job seekers find jobs and we have employers that want to help them.”

The fliers will be placed in bags and distributed to anyone who participates. The free event is open to the public.

“With the $600 a week extra initiative that may be ending at the end of July, it is the perfect time for people to seek new jobs,” Ruetten said. “Our employers are in need of workers.”

In addition to Wednesday’s Drive Thru Job Fair, Ruetten added the La Crosse Chamber is putting jobs available online.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.